As summer draws to a close in central Europe, I typically look for a more Southern place to benefit a little longer from the warm summer weather. This year, my boyfriend and I only had four to five days to go on holiday together. That´s why we decided to fly somewhere relatively close and avoid spending two days travelling to and from our destination of choice. We finally chose the Spanish island Majorca. It´s easy to get to from Germany, warm and offers a mixture of relaxation and adventure. So, here´s what we did in four days this September on the beautiful island of Majorca.
Hard facts first
- Renting a car: We went with Dollar car rental, because they offered the best deal. At first, I was slightly opposed due to the fact that you have to take a (free) 10-minute shuttle from the airport to their office. However, our experience with Dollar was wholly positive. We got our car in an instant and didn´t have to deal with any hidden fees.
- Accommodation: As we didn´t travel during peak season, we dared to only book the first two nights in advance and the other two nights rather spontaneously. In our case, that worked out really well. However, the amount of hotels in the 80-100 euro per night price range are limited. If you want affordable hotels for your July/August vacation, I´d recommend booking in advance.
- Where to stay: Even though Majorca has a lot to offer, it is a small island. You can go anywhere on the island within two hours or less. Therefore it´s possible to rent a place anywhere on the island and visit all other places from your “home base”. Nonetheless, I really enjoyed staying in multiple towns. You always wake up to a new surrounding and get to experience the different “lifestyles” on the island. For the first two nights, we stayed in Can Picafort, then one night in Colonia de Sant Jordi and the last night in S’Arenal.
We spent the first day exploring the hilly Westcoast. Our first stop after getting our car at the airport was Port d’ Andtrax. I read that this village by the sea is especially popular among (probably quite affluent) retired Germans. In any case, the hills surrounding the bay are filled with smaller and larger mansions, and the restaurant prices are accordingly high. Still, it´s a nice town for a stroll and eating a pizza (which my boyfriend and I shared) with a beautiful view.
Then, we made our way up the coast towards Valldemossa. The drive is absolutely breathtaking. It offers views of the sea, the mountainous island and small villages above the shore. Luckily, there wasn´t much traffic either. Valldemossa itself was crowded with tourists but, in my opinion, still worth a visit. I really enjoyed strolling through the narrow streets which often open up to a beautiful panorama of the surrounding landscape. (Don´t forget to bring change to pay for parking!)
In the afternoon, we drove past Deià and (Port de) Sóller, but decided not to get out of the car as we didn´t feel we would miss out on much. We had seen so many amazing places that day, and I was sure they couldn´t be surpassed.
Cap de Formentor
One of my favourite memories from this trip is watching the sunrise at Cap de Formentor. Between 15th of June and 15th September (at least these were the dates when we went there) the pensinsula of Formentor is closed for cars from 10am to 7pm. During this time, you have to take shuttle busses starting in Port de Pollenca. However, we wanted to get there before everyone else and drove from Can Picafort (were we were staying) to the peninsula around 6:45 in the morning. I can´t put into words how stunning it was. Just look at the pictures! I can only recommend going there so early- there were only few other people, and we didn´t have problems finding parking at the various viewpoints. Oh, but please drive carefully as there are sometimes goats on the streets.
Not just Cap de Formentor is worth a visit, but also the bay to its South. The beach(es) around Port de Pollenca are clean and very picturesque. Personally, I liked those beaches better than those around Can Picafort. There, the water is nice as well, but the beach is very narrow and it´s difficult to walk along the beach without stepping on somebody´s towel or deckchair.
On our third day, we drove to the historical city of Artà. After a very beach-intensive day, this excursion was a welcomed change. Artà is most famous for the fortified Santuari de Sant Salvador. You can walk along the walls and enjoy a great view of the surroundings. From the Santuari, we then walked down a staircase with 365 steps, each one symbolizing a day in the year. We ended up at the impressive church Transfiguració del Senyor. It´s one of the most dominant features of the city. As it had started raining, we waited there for a while and then ran back to our car.
We spent our third night in calm Colònia de Sant Jordi. As you walk along the coast towards the East, you find Platja d’es Dolc (with deckchair rental, toilets and beach bar) and the wild beach of Platja d’es Carbó (which seems to be a nudist beach to some extent). Another highlight of our Majorca trip was the hike around Colònia de Sant Jordi and up to Es Trenc beach. It´s a long walk, but you can´t really take a wrong turn, because there´s a walkway to follow. Grab your swimsuit, a bottle of water and take pleasure in walking by the glistening sea, a lighthouse and much more. If you don´t feel like going on hike, you can also directly drive to the popular Caribbean-looking beach Es Trenc. However, I`ve heard that, especially in peak season, the parking lot is a battle field and your car should be insured very well.
On our drive to S’Arenal, we dropped by Cala Pi. I`d seen it on Instagram a ton, so I was curious how it looked in real life. Indeed, the view of the bay was really nice, and the beach was a good photography subject from above. Yet, the water was turbid and lying on the beach, you can´t see the open water.
Last but not least, Palma
Our last stop was Palma, the capital city of Majorca. As we only had a few hours of daylight left, we parked in a parking garage right beneath the cathedral. That´s quite costly (around two euros per hour), but you´re within walking distance of all major sights. Especially the cathedral with its detailed facade and the Royal Palace stood out to me. We just wandered around for a while and admired all the different architectural styles in the city. The only thing that I found quite odd, was that the main square, the beautiful Plaza Major, was filled with (honestly really ugly) booths selling tourist souvenirs. About two hours after we had arrived, we were done exploring and headed back to our hotel in S’ Arenal.
Of course, we couldn´t leave Majorca without walking along the famous “Ballermann” party street in S’Arenal. However, we quickly realized that we´d have to come again during peak season to fully experience the crazy German party people. The clubs were open, but otherwise it was really deserted. The next day, we took a flight back home to Munich.
This concludes our trip to Majorca, but I´m sure I´ll be back sooner or later.